The state of California will no longer sponsor trips to Ohio after the Buckeye State passed what California describes as a discriminatory law against the LGBT community.
A clause in the recently-passed Ohio budget allows medical professionals to opt-out of performing procedures that violate their own moral beliefs. Under the new law, a doctor could, for example, refuse to perform a gender reassignment surgery on moral grounds.
California is now attempting to punish the state, and its state-funded travel ban will become effective on Sept. 30.
Attorney General Rob Bonta released a statement explaining the Golden State’s decision.
“Blocking access to life-saving care is wrong. Period,” Bonta said. “Whether it’s denying a prescription for medication that prevents the spread of HIV, refusing to provide gender-affirming care, or undermining a woman’s right to choose, HB 110 unnecessarily puts the health of Americans at risk. Critically, the law runs afoul of Assembly Bill 1887. When states discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans, the California Department of Justice must act. That’s why — in line with the law — we’re adding Ohio to California’s state-funded travel restrictions list.”
Assemblyman Evan Low (D-CA-28), the Chair of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, characterized the new Ohio law as an attack on LGBT Californians.
“Ohio’s decision to condone attacks on the health of its nearly 400,000 LGBTQ+ residents was widely opposed by the state’s medical community. It’s plain that this law only serves to discriminate,” he said in a press release. “We will never put Californians at risk of falling victim to the same toxic standard by supporting the use of taxpayer dollars for travel in places where anti-LGBTQ discrimination is the law of the land.”
Citing anti-transgender policies, Bonta announced in June a legislative ban on state-funded travel to five other states: Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia.
“Assembly Bill 1887 is about aligning our dollars with our values,” he said at the time. “When states discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans, California law requires our office to take action. These new additions to the state-funded travel restrictions list are about exactly that. It’s been 52 years to the day since the Stonewall Riots began, but that same fight remains all too alive and well in this country. Rather than focusing on solving real issues, some politicians think it’s in their best interest to demonize trans youth and block life-saving care. Make no mistake: We’re in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country — and the State of California is not going to support it.”
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Two Flag-Wavers – Cleveland Gay Pride 2017” by Tim Evanson. CC BY-SA 2.0.